The Instigator
friendlyCat
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
dsjpk5
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

We need to pass a constitutional amendment to strip corporate entities of their legal personhood

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
dsjpk5
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/29/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 424 times Debate No: 95066
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

friendlyCat

Pro

The U.S. Constitution was written with human beings in mind. At the time of its creation, in fact, corporations were widely reviled. But a century later they were a commonplace business institution, and a century after that they"ve become our invisible government.

This was accomplished over decades, through incremental changes to the law grounded in the extremely harmful fiction that corporations are people rather than legal entities created for our convenience in doing business together.

There are two conceptions of "corporate personhood". The first simply bestows upon corporations the ability to engage in many legal actions (e.g. enter into contracts, sue, be sued, etc). This is widely accepted and we do not object to this.

However, "corporate personhood" also commonly refers to the Supreme Court-created precedent of corporations enjoying constitutional rights that were intended solely for human beings. We believe this form of "corporate personhood" corrupts our Constitution and must be corrected by amending the Constitution. Neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution ever mention corporations. But thanks to decades of rulings by Justices who molded the law to favor elite interests, corporations today are granted so-called "rights" that empower them to deny citizens the right to full self-governance. For example, the Supreme Court has:

* prohibited routine inspections of corporate property without a warrant or prior permission, even though scheduling such visits may permit a company to hide threats to public health and safety. (Marshall v Barlow"s, 1978)
* struck down state laws requiring companies to disclose product origins (International Dairy v. Amnestoy, 1996), thus creating "negative free speech rights" for corporations and preventing us from knowing what"s in our food.
* prohibited citizens wanting to defend their local businesses and community from corporate chains encroachment from enacting progressive taxes on chain stores. (Liggett v. Lee, 1933)
* struck down state laws restricting corporate spending on ballot initiatives and referenda, enabling corporations to block citizen action through what, theoretically, is the purest form of democracy. (First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti).
*The notorious 1886 case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad is just one in a long series of Supreme Court cases that entrenched "corporate personhood" in law. Justices since have struck down hundreds of local, state and federal laws enacted to protect people from corporate harm based on this illegitimate premise. Armed with these "rights," corporations wield ever-increasing control over jobs, natural assets, politicians, even judges and the law.

We believe corporations are not persons and possess only the privileges citizens and their elected representatives willfully grant them. Amending the constitution will reverse the Court"s invention of "corporate personhood" and limit corporations to their proper role: doing business.
dsjpk5

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for creating this debate.

PLAGIARISM

My opponent has plagiarized his entire first round argument from the following website:

https://movetoamend.org...

I ask the voters to consider this when voting on this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
friendlyCat

Pro

Are you willing to have a real debate? Yes, the supporting information was posted from movetoamend.org - that does not take away from the issue we are debating.
dsjpk5

Con

Yes, I am willing to debate you. As of now, however, I'm still waiting for the debate to begin. I'm supposed to be debating you, not the author of that article. As the instigator, and the person advocating a change in the status quo, you have the full burden of proof, so may I suggest you use the final round to making your case?

I look forward to reading your original offering.
Debate Round No. 2
friendlyCat

Pro

Corporate personhood is a legal precedent established in the 1800's that says a corporation is a person and has the same rights as an actual person. which is nice for corporations but not so nice for people. Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person.

After a series of lower court cases, the watershed moment came in 1886 when the Supreme Court heard a case called Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad. Citing the 14th Amendment, and without hearing any arguments, the Supremes declared unanimously that corporations are persons deserving the law"s protection. There was no public debate about this and no law passed in Congress " corporations received the status of persons by simple judicial fiat. And they did this at a time when all women, all Native Americans, and even most African American men were still denied the right to vote.

When you look at two-plus centuries of US legal history, the pattern is that people acquire rights by amendment to the Constitution " a long, drawn-out, difficult process " and corporations acquire them by Supreme Court decisions. Rights for corporations, because they"re about property, is about who is excluded; rights for human beings is about who is included.
Once corporations had jumped the line, they proceeded to pursue the Bill of Rights through more Supreme Court cases. In 1893 they were assured 5th Amendment protection of due process. In 1906 they got 4th Amendment search and seizure protection. In 1925 it was freedom of the press and speech. In 1976 the Supremes determined that money is equal to speech, and since corporate persons have First Amendment rights, they can basically contribute as much money as they want to political parties and candidates.

And so we find ourselves in a time when corporations have amassed enormous power and wealth, and control nearly every aspect of our lives, because they masquerade " under the law at least " as one of us. But most of us don"t know it.

What would change if corporations did not have personhood? Well, here are a few examples. If corporate persons no longer had first amendment right of free speech, we could prohibit all corporate political activity " no more contributions to candidates or parties, no more lobbying. Just think of the ripple effect on our political process if no corporate money could contaminate it! Corporate persons are now protected against search without a warrant under the 4th Amendment. This means that OSHA and the EPA have to schedule their inspections at a time convenient to corporate managers. If you think the air, land, or water in your community is being polluted, or the workers mistreated, neither you nor the government can go on corporate property to get information without legal permission. Just think of the consequences if corporate polluters were no longer shielded by the Constitution!

Without their protections under the 5th and 14th Amendments, corporations could be prevented from merging and owning stock in other corporations. We could leaflet in malls, we could pass laws against chain stores and cell phone towers, we could organize openly at work. If corporate personhood is eradicated, a floodgate of possibilities opens for citizen sovereignty to replace corporate governance.

We think the campaign to end corporate personhood is like applying a massive crowbar at the most pivotal point against a stuck door holding back democracy. No more trying the key in the rusted lock; no more poking with a coat hanger here and kicking at a corner there. By focusing on the crucial block " corporate personhood " and applying enough force to pry the door open, the whole concept of what"s politically and humanly possible shifts in profound and exciting ways. We hope you"ll join us in this work and we look forward to creative collaboration as we reconnect with our sovereignty. Thank you!
dsjpk5

Con

After last round, where I specifically said he should offer an original argument, my opponent has doubled down on his plagiarism:

PLAGIARISM (again)

My opponent has plagiarized his last round argument from the following book:

The Purposeful Argument (page 390)

Here's a link to it:

https://books.google.com...

So, with my opponent plagiarizing every argument he presented, I have nothing to rebut. This is Debate.org, not Copy and Paste.org. I guess all I can do is offer my own negative case:

Negative Case:

Contrary to the resolution, we don't NEED to pass a constitutional amendment in order to strip corporate entities of their legal personhood... We have an alternative. We could also replace those judges that support corporate personhood with judges that would overturn the case establishing corporate personhood.

Summary of debate:

1. My opponent plagiarized 2 out of 3 rounds.

2. I am the only one who offered an original argument.

Please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by U.n 8 months ago
U.n
Oh, snap.
Posted by dsjpk5 8 months ago
dsjpk5
Doubling down on your plagiarism, I see.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Anthony_Moore 8 months ago
Anthony_Moore
friendlyCatdsjpk5Tied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: Bruh friendlyCat, I was on your side, your arguments were great, then you had to pull a Melinda Trump on me.... Your opponent didn't win this debate, you just lost it.
Vote Placed by warren42 8 months ago
warren42
friendlyCatdsjpk5Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Debate is supposed to be a synthesis of sources, not copying and pasting entire arguments. Take ideas and facts provided by others, and combine them into a unique argument. Con wins on the basis that he/she alone provided an argument that was unique. Conduct Con also due to obvious plagiarism.
Vote Placed by Overhead 8 months ago
Overhead
friendlyCatdsjpk5Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Plagarism. Con clearly shows with evidence that PRO's arguments were entirely plagarised.
Vote Placed by n7 8 months ago
n7
friendlyCatdsjpk5Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for blatant plagiarism.